Search Begins for Vice President of Mission, Values & Inclusion

Reporting to the President of the College, the VPMVI serves as the chief mission and diversity officer and a member of the President’s Cabinet, together leading the effective integration of our mission, instilling the vision and values of our sponsors, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, and cultivating an institutional culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Providing strategic leadership and oversight, the VPMVI utilizes partnerships with and among faculty, staff, students, and others in the wider community to develop and integrate behaviors, attitudes, policies and procedures that embody our Dominican Catholic values and enable us to realize the vision of our sponsoring order. To this end, the VPMVI provides expertise in intercultural competence, addressing cultural change, coordinating existing efforts toward inclusion, and identifying the need for new programs, services, and initiatives. 

A Statement from the Taskforce to Dismantle Racism

At President Manion’s request, the Task Force on Dismantling Racism began meeting over the summer and is currently working to establish both initial steps and an ongoing process to eliminate racism in the Edgewood community.  We recognize that some members of the Edgewood community have done much work on this issue in past years and we share the frustration of many that more has not been achieved.  We envision our work this year as embodying a collective, non-hierarchical process that asks the larger Edgewood community to join us in taking on the daily challenge of both identifying racism at Edgewood and taking clear action to create an anti-racist environment that supports all in this beloved community. 


We look to the Sinsinawa Dominicans’ corporate stance on racism, which states “we have embraced the vision of becoming antiracist … by intentionally dismantling our racist structures, practices, and procedures.”  Holding that close, we as a Task Force establish ourselves as anti-racist, and commit to taking on both racism and white privilege within the Edgewood community.   With thanks to our colleagues at Edgewood’s Oscar Rennebohm library, we center the words of Dr. Ibram Kendi who notes that “being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination”.


Our initial meetings began to name the serious issues facing our community.  Like so many institutions, Edgewood is steeped in a culture based on racist assumptions that, intentionally or not, promote, strengthen and perpetuate white supremacy and racial injustices.  This cuts into every corner of life in the college – including governance structure, student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention, curriculum, pedagogy and those crucial out of classroom experiences that make up our campus climate.  We also recognize that understanding the relevance of the structures that inform the decision-making processes at the College is crucial.  We have seen, for instance, how some of the recent drastic program cuts have had a serious impact on students of color and on curricular offerings aimed at creating a deeper understanding of race and diversity among all our students.  


We acknowledge the historical legacy of exclusion and marginalization in higher education, and affirm our responsibility to continuously learn about and disrupt systems of privilege, inequality, and oppression.   We believe strongly in accountability for students, staff and faculty and strive for a process and culture rooted in restorative justice that acknowledges the harm done, and works to repair that harm, prevents its recurrence and moves the community forward in a way that centers and honors voices and experiences that have historically been marginalized.

Guiding questions
1. How is the current organizational culture and systems supporting racial inclusion and equity?
2. How is the current organizational culture and systems preventing racial inclusion and equity?
3. What has held Edgewood back in the past and currently, in dismantling racism and creating an inclusive and equitable campus?
4. How does a racially inclusive and equitable organizational culture function? What does it look and feel like?
5. What ways of thinking (about organizations, leadership, how work gets done, relationships, how decisions are made, etc.) are needed?
6. What ways of thinking need to change (mental models, our assumptions about organizations, leadership, etc.)?
7. What structures and policies are currently working to support racial inclusion

College Announces New Partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

Madison, Wis. (August 18, 2020) – A new, enhanced partnership between Edgewood College and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County (BGCDC) is seeking to benefit more than 70 young people enrolled in the Club’s AVID/TOPS program, a partnership between BGCDC and the TOPS College Success Program (TCSP) to drive student success. The new agreement will provide significant scholarships for new students at Edgewood College, and both new and continuing students will receive enhanced wrap-around support services.  
 
“Now more than ever we know that partnerships like this are not only impactful, but crucial to student success,” Glenna Scholle-Malone, Assistant Vice President of College Persistence and Special Projects at BGCDC, said. “As a result of the passion, experience and work of our collaborative, cross-disciplinary work group, we have truly worked in partnership to ensure that we are creating the best experience for our scholars that will allow them to grow and develop to ultimately earn their degree.” 
 
“Education can be a great equalizer,” Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, said.  “When we can open up more educational opportunities, through non-instructional wrap-around-services, to more students who often have systemic challenges staying on the path through higher education, we all benefit.  Our enhanced partnership with Edgewood College provides more opportunities to support AVID/TOPS students’ college success.”
 
The new partnership will enable more students in the TOPS program to live on campus (with the option of a Living Learning Community centered on social justice), provides specific support to enhance their experience both in and out of the classroom, provides meeting space on campus for BGCDC college persistence staff, and other steps designed to ensure students’ success.
 
“We are excited to continue our work with BGCDC, enhancing our partnership and the experience for our students,” Heather Harbach, Vice President for Student Development/Dean of Students at Edgewood College, said. “The addition of housing scholarships and greater coordination of services provides important access for our AVID/TOPS students.  They will have better connections to leadership and professional opportunities, which impacts a student’s success, persistence, and graduation.”  
 
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County  
We are a local not-for-profit youth development organization serving over 7,750 youths in ten locations, including eleven school-based sites and three traditional Club sites. The Clubs fuel kids with the inspiration to dream and teach them the skills to achieve when they’re most impressionable through quality programs in five core areas: Character & Leadership Development; Education & Career Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. See the impact we make in the life of each Club member here: www.bgcdc.org.

President Announces a New Cabinet Position, Vice President for Mission, Values & Inclusion, and a Taskforce to Combat Racism

Madison, Wis. (June 19, 2020) – Dr. Andrew Manion, President of Edgewood College, today announced the creation of a new leadership position: Vice President for Mission, Values, and Inclusion. The new V.P. will oversee all institutional efforts that express the Dominican Catholic mission and values of Edgewood College. A national search will commence immediately. 

“The connection between our mission and our commitment to inclusion is seamless,” President Manion said. “This position will reinforce our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which flows from our mission and values.”
 
President Manion also marks Juneteenth with the creation of the President’s Task Force to Eradicate Racism at Edgewood College. The charge of this task force will be to develop a plan with actionable steps to identify, reduce, and ultimately eliminate racism at Edgewood College. Two members of the faculty have agreed to co-chair the group, which will begin its work this summer. Task force members will include members of the faculty and staff, students, Trustees, and members of the Greater Madison community.
 
“While I am inspired by the demonstration last week (see June 11 photo on this page) with our community speaking out for justice and racial equality, I was a little nervous that we were telling the world what to do, when we still have some work to do ourselves,” Manion said. “We will continue to honor the legacy we have inherited from the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, and rise to the challenge of working to eradicate the disease of racism in our community, and beyond.”

Rest In Peace, George Floyd

Madison, Wis. (May 28, 2020) – The following email was sent this morning to the students, faculty, and staff of Edgewood College. 

This has been an eventful week for Edgewood College, with the return of additional employees to campus for the first time in two months. It is gratifying to see life return to campus. This is also a time of transition, with both myself and President-elect Andrew Manion on campus, working together to prepare for the transfer of leadership this weekend. 

Yet amidst the feelings of optimism and preparation for our next chapters, we have been once again shaken by an injustice that needs to be addressed. 

We’re saddened and angered by the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday night – suffocated by a police officer as he lay on the ground in restraints begging for his life. We’re struggling with how we should talk about this tragedy—this outrage—with the Edgewood College community, especially our community members of color. When an African American is killed by a police officer, our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice compel us to speak. Our Sinsinawa Dominican roots and Catholic identity demand that we reaffirm our community, that we stand with our African American sisters and brothers. This angers us, too. George Floyd’s life mattered. His death hurts us all, but it hurts the people of color within our community more. 

We recognize that our nation, our society, has to do better than this. We have asked our sisters and brothers of color to be patient for too long. And we recognize that those of us who have not had to experience this kind of oppression and injustice have not worked hard enough to end it. 

We believe that, as the Edgewood College community, we must recommit ourselves to peace and to justice. We must be a living example of how a community cannot be satisfied with mere diversity, but must work every day to be genuinely inclusive. We recognize that we have work to do, and we must hold ourselves to the highest standards. 

During the next few months, we will be working on that re-commitment as we reorganize the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion functions. While doing this will result in better communication and greater coordination of our inclusiveness agenda, these things will not be enough by themselves to transform our culture into the model of community and social justice that our mission and values demand of us. We are, each one of us, accountable to our sisters and brothers.

Together, let us be the leaders that our society needs. Let us honor our founders by living our values. Let us honor the memories of George Floyd and others unjustly taken from us by setting the standard for civility, mutual respect, and love.

Yours,&am

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